How to get to Stansted Airport: Taking the stress out of airport travel

Choosing airport travel in advance is vital in making sure your trip starts smoothly and stress-free. Use this guide on getting to Stansted Airport to help make your decision.

london stansted airport sign

With over 27 million people flying from there each year, and over 200 available destinations, London Stansted Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK. 

With the constant stream of arrivals and departures, the airport experience can be a stressful one: including getting there without any hassle. To ensure you get to the airport with plenty of time for your flight, and without spending too much of your valuable holiday funds, here is a guide to journeying to Stansted.

Getting the train

The quickest way to get from central London to Stansted Airport is by taking the dedicated Stansted Express train from London Liverpool Street Station. The journey time is only 47 minutes, and since Stansted has its own train station underneath the airport, accessible by lifts and escalators, you’re directly in the airport in less than an hour. You can also hop on board at Stratford, and the Stansted Express runs from 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM, offering convenience for all flight times, with the full timetable on their website. Buying your ticket in advance means you can travel to Stansted for under ten pounds, and save more money for enjoying your holiday. 

The station also services cities across the country including Birmingham, Norwich, Leicester and Cambridge. All of the trains run regularly throughout the day, and offer a reliable service without worrying about traffic concerns, so you can easily park at one of the central stations and make your way into the airport.

Drive and park near to the airport

Possibly the most popular way to Stansted is driving due to the M11’s close vicinity to the airport, and the comfort of your own car with space for everything you could need for your holiday. The M11 connects London and Cambridge and the drive from central London to Stansted takes around 90 minutes depending on time of day and traffic restrictions. Coming from London, you take Junction 8a and follow the subsequent signs to the airport. If coming from the Cambridge direction, you take Junction 8, and again follow the signs. Map your route below to see what might make sense for you.

Parking at the airport can be expensive however, and can add to the stress of catching your flight if you are driving in circles looking for an available space. JustPark offers affordable parking within convenient distance of Stansted Airport, and there are local shuttle buses to the airport as well. This is a much more cost-effective way of driving to Stansted, and since you pre-book your space, there’s no worry of hidden fees to pay after your holiday, or struggling to find your car among busy airport car parks.

Getting the coach

With Stansted Airport Coach Station being located just a two minute walk from the airport terminal, it offers affordability and perfect convenience for the start of your trip. National Express offers coaches from London to Stansted that take under 90 minutes depending on traffic and are even cheaper than getting the train, going from a range of pick up points in London including Golders Green, Stratford, and Victoria Coach Station. The coaches also go through the night, meaning you have an efficient way to the airport even for those early morning flights. 

There are also coaches from most major UK cities including Birmingham, Coventry, and Oxford, as well as airport transfers from London Luton, and London Heathrow if you are rushing to a connecting flight. Tickets can be purchased on Trainline or on the National Express website, and are cheaper the further in advance you book them. Stansted Coach Station has an on-site coffee shop and vending machines, as well as accessible toilets and sloped access, creating a safe and welcoming environment to greet you at the airport.

Taxi and ride sharing 

While offering the advantage of door-to-door convenience, taxi services can be an expensive method of travel to the airport. If travelling on a budget, using a taxi is not the most cost effective way to complete your journey, and there are excessive pick up or drop off costs to be aware of. This reinforces the need to plan your journey in advance, as there may be an easy public transport or driving route that could save money to spend on your holiday. If no public transport options are available from your location, taxi and ride sharing services can be useful, but you also have to keep peak times and rush hour in mind for both surge pricing and availability of local drivers.

Accessibility considerations when travelling

If you, or a member of your group has accessibility requirements, all the aforementioned methods of travel have resources in place to help make your journey run as smoothly as possible. Companies such as Accessable have created access guides on locations all around the UK, including Stansted Airport. 

They report on a number of elements about each location, including:

  • Whether there are automatic doors and level access
  • Whether there are accessible toilets 
  • How many lifts, and the dimensions of each lift
  • If there is a hearing assistance system in place
  • If there are help points available
  • Training staff members have in equitable treatment

Accessable also offers specific information for the coach and train stations at Stansted, so these options can still be considered if passengers have accessibility requirements. Bookmarking these resources can be useful to ensure everything is in place before you start your journey.

If you do choose to drive and require disabled parking options, JustPark provides enhanced accessibility options, including disabled parking and blue badge spaces close to Stansted Airport. Our platform enables you to find spaces closer to your destination, ensuring your visit to Stansted Airport is as convenient and stress-free as possible. You can find these options by selecting 'Filter' during your search in-app or on our website.

You should now have enough information to get you to the airport with plenty of options, plus some money-saving tips and route mapping advice. The further in advance you book parking the better, as spots can go quickly especially during peak holiday seasons — explore available spaces now to plan your next visit.

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